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Guthrie Green Enhances Brady Arts District With Open Space

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Brady Arts District, the Tulsa neighborhood where residential projects, hotels, restaurants, cultural and entertainment venues are sprouting up, has a new addition: Guthrie Green, an $8 million park that opened last month on the former site of a truck-loading facility.


Named for iconic musician and Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie, the project created a 2.7-acre community gathering space that is bounded by Brady, Cameron, Boston and Cincinnati streets. The design by Sausalito, Calif.-based SWA Group incorporates interactive fountains, an outdoor stage, vine-covered “green rooms,” a multipurpose lawn and an 11,200-square-foot café pavilion.

“The project shows the power of parks to make downtowns more enjoyable and reverse urban decline, which is so important for regional cities like Tulsa,” commented Elizabeth Shreeve, an SWA principal.

Guthrie Green also incorporates extensive sustainable features. Flynt & Kallenberger and James Bose of Oklahoma State University devised a “geo-exchange” system  using technology provided by Rygan Corp. A grid of 120 geothermal wells extending 500 feet deep provides heating and cooling to the park’s café pavilion and restrooms, as well as to 120,000 square feet of nearby space used by non-profit organizations.  Photovoltaic panels on the pavilion roof supply power for the building’s heat pump system. The project received a $2.5 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as well as other state and local funding. Other sustainable features include low-power LED lighting and two bio-retention swales that collect and filter storm water and re-charge the local aquifers.

Guthrie Green is part of the George Kaiser Family Foundation’s $113.5 million public-private investment in the district, which has been enlivened with galleries, museums and nightlife. The historic Tulsa Paper Company building has been transformed into the Woody Guthrie Center, which houses the Woody Guthrie Archives and a variety of nonprofit arts organizations.

Kinslow, Keith & Todd Architects designed Guthrie Green’s structures and Wallace Engineering provided structural and civil engineering. Manhattan Construction Co. oversaw construction in conjunction with Stonebridge Group and Tulsa Industrial Authority.

Image Courtesy of: www.swagroup.com